Holemaking is a critical function in many metalworking environments. From aerospace manufacturing to general engineering, precision and quality are vital to the process. This guide explains commonly used holemaking tools in CNC machining applications. You’ll learn about hard-to-machine metals, micro-drilling tools and more.
Solid Carbide Drills: From Microdrilling To Difficult-To-Machine Materials Drills
Solid carbide brings a lot to the table in terms of drilling applications. To understand how, let’s look at the material itself. Solid carbide usually refers to tungsten carbide, which blends carbon and tungsten steel. This combination results in a strong metal that’s also brittle. Solid carbide typically measures at least HRC65 on the Rockwell scale.
No two solid carbide drills are alike. There’s a drill machine and bit for almost every type of special application. With that said, you’ll find some common solid carbide tools available from CNC tool vendors:
- Hard-to-machine metals
- Deep hole drilling
- Close tolerance holes
- Aluminum machining
Solid carbide tools are preferred for working with metals that are difficult to machine. They’re strong and wear-resistant, making them ideal for faster cutting at higher feed rates. Solid carbide is also heat-resistant with a melting point of around 2,800 degrees Celsius.
These properties make them uniquely suited for refractory metals and super-alloys common in the aerospace industry. Refractory metals such as tungsten and tantalum exhibit exceptional heat and wear resistance. Nickel-based super-alloys like Hastelloy and Waspaloy offer superior strength, heat resistance and corrosion.
Precision is even more critical when you’re creating holes measuring 3 millimeters or less. Solid carbide micro-drills can perfectly meet such production requirements. While they often come with disposable bits, micro-drills are cost-effective and include useful features such as wear indicators. Thanks to a marginless construction that minimizes heat and friction, they can withstand the demands of your production environment.
Deep Hole Drilling
Solid carbide excels at delivering precision in demanding production environments. Deep hole drilling is no exception. Accuracy and efficiency remain vital, and solid carbide deep hole drills can provide both. Like their standard counterparts, deep hole drilling tools make quick work out of stainless steel, aluminum and even hard-to-machine alloys.
3D Printed Stator Bore Tool
While solid carbide drills deliver high-quality results, other precision hole finishing methods are available. Kennametal’s RIQ Reameris is one excellent example. The RIQ Reamer is a 3D-printed stator borer tool that can machine three large diameters simultaneously, reducing setup and machining times in your operations. Meanwhile, it also delivers consistent alignment and concentricity while minimizing your total cycle times. Besides these essential features, the RIQ Reamer is also lightweight and constructed of durable metal and carbon fiber.
Choosing the Right Tools
Your manufacturing processes rely heavily on your metalworking tools. Knowing your options is vital to choosing ones that best meet your requirements. Materials, production requirements and quality all determine your choices. Working with a reliable CNC machine tools vendor ensures that you get equipment and other support to continue successful operations. Your vendor can guide you to the tools and resources you need.